February 16th, 2012
(HigginsBlog) – Egypt sends the U.S. an official indictment of over 100 pages charging arrested NGO workers with illegally funneling funds to rig elections, incite unrest, and overthrow the government.
Egyptian news sources (see below) are reporting that the U.S. has been handed an official 100 page indictment outline the charges against American NGO workers being detained in Egypt. U.S. officials say they are in the process of reviewing the document but are having problems with the translation. U.S. media sources continue to report the detained NGO workers as simple civilians working without a permit. Egyptian media tells a different story, saying the detainees are in fact of part of complex of organizations planning to seize control of the Egypt.
The Egypt accuses splinter organizations of both the U.S. Republican and Democrat parties, and other organizations, of illegally funneling money into Egypt. The indictment charges the organizations first used the funneled promote U.S. political candidates and then attempted to manipulate the Egyptian elections to get those candidates elected.
Egypt goes on to state that when that planned failed, and the U.S. candidates were not elected the organizations used the funneled money to plan and organize protests at which the organizations would incite violence and other civil unrest in order to cause riots and destabilize the region to overthrow the government.
All of this of course has been revealed by U.S. media sources already, but it is hard to get the complete picture as outlined in the indictment because every story is packed full of opinions and comments defending the work of the organizations instead of detailing the facts.
To be clear, it is illegal for for organizations to conduct in political activities in Egypt. These organizations were operating under the front of doing community based civil work. Further they were working without permits, which is also illegal, and without work visas to avoid detection. They were also bringing foreign (U.S) money into Egypt with out a permit to so and then using those funds in a manner illegal in Egypt.
At first you may be taken back by the through of the Republican party and the Democratic party trying to ferment civil unrest and incite riots. However, trying keeping The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements in mind while trying to answer the question “What the hell else are our politicians doing in Washington besides trying to ferment civil unrest and spark a revolution?” They sure in the hell aren’t trying to placate the masses.
In case this is all too conspiratorial to you, check out his Guide to the Revolution in Egypt, disseminated by the media for PRIOR to the Protests. I came across this on a blog of a Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia fellow who specializes in “Crisis Mapping” and runs the iRevolution blog:
The above 26-page how-to guide circulated in both hard- and electronic-copy
during[before] the first wave of protests in Egypt. The document was translated into English by The Atlantic and outlines a number of critical points central to civil resistance, including very specific demands on the Mubarak regime; concrete goals for the popular resistance and tactical steps to achieve these stated goals. The guide also provided tips on what protection gear to wear and how to engage the police with the use of spray paint.
Starting in the alleys was not a random decision. It makes tactical and strategic sense regardless of the technology used to coordinate this. Starting small and away from the main protests is a safe way to pool protesters together. It’s also about creating an iterative approach to a “strength in numbers” dynamic. As more people crowd the smaller the streets, this gives a sense of momentum and confidence. Starting in alley ways localizes the initiative. People are likely neighbors and join because they see their friend or sister out in the street. This tactic figured as a drawing in the 26-page guide:
The guide also stressed the need to remain peaceful and not engage in sabotage. The discipline of remaining non-violent is instrumental in civil resistance. Engaging in violence provides government forces with the excuse they’re looking for to clamp down on protesters and delegitimize them in a public way. The guide also recommends that activists try to win over the police and army instead of attacking them. The protesters behind this guide were clearly well trained and knew what they were doing. They even provided several Google Earth screen shots of different parts of the city to recommend tactical moves:
See my blog post on Maps, Activism and Technology: Check-in’s with a Purpose for more on the above picture.
Activists thus took deliberate and informed actions and used technology to synchronize those actions. How did the popular movement become this sophisticated? Young Egyptians had lots of practice. From the Kefeya movement of 2004, the elections of 2005 (and 2010), the April 6 movement of 2008 and the Khaled Said campaign of 2010. They learned from each confrontation and adapted their tactics and strategies accordingly. They reached out to others such as Otpor in Serbia for training and guidance. The Serbs met with Egyptian groups and ”shared their own hard-won experience, as well as fundamental lessons of popular nonviolent resistance,” according to this article in The Atlantic. And they took inspiration from the writings of Gene Sharp.
Al Aribya reports:
Egyptian judges accuse NGOs of political meddling as U.S. receives charges
Wednesday, 08 February 2012
The NGOs are operating “without license,” and their work “constitutes pure political activity and has nothing to do with civil society work,” Judge Sameh Abu Zeid told a press conference. (AFP)
The United States government has received a more than 100-page “formal charging document” concerning non-governmental organization (NGO) workers in Egypt who are under investigation, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday.
“We now have a formal charging document,” State Department State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. “We are in the process of reviewing (it).”
By the time of the briefing, “we were still working through it, both as a translation issue and as a legal matter, to understand exactly what is expected in this charging document of individual Americans,” Nuland said.
Egyptian judges probing alleged illegal foreign funding of NGOs earlier on Wednesday had accused domestic and foreign groups, including American ones, of illegally meddling in politics.
The NGOs are operating “without license,” and their work “constitutes pure political activity and has nothing to do with civil society work,” Judge Sameh Abu Zeid told a press conference.
The judge said December raids on 17 offices of local and foreign NGOs as part of a probe into illegal funding had been conducted “according to the law.”“It is a very large and complicated case involving hundreds of people and organizations, Egyptian and foreign,” he said.
He said dozens of people had been referred to trial because there was deemed to be enough evidence.
Among them are 19 Americans, a fact that prompted a trio of leading U.S. senators to warn Egypt that the risk of a “disastrous” rupture in ties had “rarely been greater.”
Abu Zeid said “there is much evidence, including witness accounts, expert accounts and confessions. There are 67 items of evidence,” Abu Zeid said.
The groups being investigated include the U.S. International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House and the German Konrad-Adenauer Foundation.
“The foreign organizations are not civil society groups but branches of organizations based abroad,” said Abu Zeid.
He said security agencies had repeatedly refused to register the NGOs who “have been working in Egypt for years on tourist visas.
“They received orders from abroad to do this and were told not to get work permits. They also violated Egyptian tax laws.”
He said the case involved NGOs that had received illegal funding from the United States, from European countries and also from Arab countries.
Investigations showed that their work “took another dimension after the January 25 revolution” that ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year, Abu Zeid said.
“The activities became political, related to training political parties or mobilizing people.
“Money was transferred to the organizations through a range of ways, including in individual accounts of employees, instead of in bank accounts in the organization’s name; or through money transfer companies,” he said.
Some of the U.S. citizens, belonging to the U.S.-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI), which have loose links to the top U.S. political parties, sought refuge in the American embassy.
U.S. officials have not said how many.Source: Al Aribya
Egypt’s military warns of plots on eve of strike
Egypt’s military rulers warned Friday that the country faces conspiracies that seek to topple the state and spread chaos, in a message intended to undermine activists who plan to mark the anniversary of President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow with anti-army protests.
The message said the army had played an essential role in Egypt’s transition and warned of plots that seek to strike “a mortal blow” to the revolution by sewing discord between the army and the people.
The generals and the military-backed Cabinet have been critical of the strike call, casting it as another example of foreign attempts to weaken Egypt. The state media and a Facebook page affiliated with the ruling generals accused the U.S. of using local institutions to agitate for the strike.
Protester Ahmed Hassan, 26, said the march sought to push the generals from power.
Also on Friday, Cairo airport officials banned a British woman from leaving the country because she is being targeted in a criminal investigation into foreign-funded organizations.
The investigation has caused the most serious rift in decades between Egypt and the United States, and U.S. officials have warned that the crackdown on NGOs could block $1.5 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt.
The woman joins a list of at least 10 foreigners, including six Americans, who have been barred from traveling as part of the investigation.
Egyptian judges have referred 43 people including 16 Americans to trial on accusations they illegally used foreign funds to foment unrest in the country. The rest of the accused are Egyptians and Europeans.
CBS News Reports
CAIRO – Egypt has released the names of 19 Americans who face trial over activities of their nonprofit groups in Egypt, a case that has soured U.S.-Egypt relations.
One of the 19 is the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Sam LaHood, director of the International Republican Institute, and five other Americans are in Egypt. The others have left, according to a statement from the Egyptian prosecutor’s office.
Among the Americans indicted by the Egyptian public prosecutor over alleged illegal activities by their pro-democracy groups are: Charles Dunne, director of Middle East and North Africa programs at Freedom House; and Julie Hughes, director of the National Democratic Institute.
Also included are American members of the International Center for Journalists, a journalism nonprofit: Patrick Butler, vice president, and Natasha Tynes, Program Director.
Altogether, 43 people face trials over illegally operating in Egypt and receiving funds from abroad without permission from Egyptian authorities for their human rights and pro-democracy groups. Egypt charges that they fund and support anti-government protests.
Source: CBS News
The Daily News Egypt reports:
The statement issued by the Lawyers Union was made in light of the indictment of 44 local and foreign NGO workers, of which 36 were banned from leaving the country while four were placed on a watch-list since they are already abroad.
The list includes 19 Americans, one of whom is Sam LaHood, Egypt director of the International Republican Institute (IRI), and also the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Also facing charges are five Serbs, two Germans, two Lebanese, one Jordanian and one Palestinian, in addition to 14 Egyptians, who have all been banned from travel or have been placed on incoming watch-lists for being currently abroad.
According to an NDI employee who has been charged but refused to reveal their identity, the NGO workers were not served court notification about the legal action taken against them. Some found out through their lawyers, while others through friends in the media or via published news reports.
“We were told that we face charges of working in an illegal organization, functioning without the required permits under Egyptian law and that we received foreign illegal funds in our personal bank accounts,” the source said.
The source also said that the charges also include conducting research and gathering information that was passed on to their US headquarters. This information was seen as instrumental in influencing the decisions of Egyptians at the polls, the source said, adding that there were still ambiguities in the phrasing, and that they were considering their next steps and their legal positions.
Organizations such as the IRI and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) were accused of receiving $40 million over six months to support Egypt’s transition to democracy in activities deemed in violation of Egypt’s NGO Law No. 84 of 2002.
The list released by the Ministry of Justice referring the NGOs to court included 16 individuals from NDI (seven Americans, two Lebanese, two Serbs and four Egyptians), along with 14 from the IRI (seven Americans, two Serbs, one Palestinian and four Egyptians), seven working with Freedom House (two Americans, one Jordanian and four Egyptians), five from International Center of Journalists (three Americans and two Egyptians) and two Germans with the Konrad Adenauer Stifung.
Source: The Daily News Egypt
American NGO workers indicted in Egypt
February 5, 2012
(JTA) — Forty-three employees of NGOs in Egypt, including 19 Americans, have been charged with using foreign funds to incite violence in the country.
Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, reportedly is one of the American NGO employees whose case has been referred to a criminal trial in Egypt. LaHood is among the Americans who have been barred from leaving the country since Jan. 21.
“We are deeply concerned by these reports and are seeking clarification from the government of Egypt,” U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Sunday in response to reports of the indictments.
The Obama administration and senior congressional leaders have warned Egypt that the investigation and trials could jeopardize some $1.55 billion in American aid to Egypt, the majority of it military assistance, The New York Times reported.
Egyptian government forces on Dec. 29 raided the offices of 17 foreign NGOs, including U.S. groups that monitored recent parliamentary elections there, according to Politico. The offices were shut down and the employees questioned.
The forces reportedly seized computers, documents and cash; the groups are accused of using foreign funds to support unrest in Egypt.
U.S. groups that were raided include the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute. Both had been invited to monitor the recent elections, but lacked a license to operate from the Egyptian government, which had been a requirement under the Mubarak regime.
The Huffington Post reports:
Egypt NGO Crackdown Threatens Relations With Washington
CAIRO — Egypt’s ruling generals are playing a risky game of brinksmanship by cracking down on American nonprofit groups that promote democracy, threatening a relationship with Washington that has brought the military billions of dollars in aid over the past three decades.
Egypt on Sunday referred 19 Americans, including the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and 24 other employees of pro-democracy nonprofit groups to trial before a criminal court on accusations they illegally used foreign funds to foment unrest in the country.
The depth of the tensions was evident when an Egyptian government delegation abruptly canceled meetings in Washington with U.S. lawmakers set for Monday and Tuesday.
The U.S.-Egypt dispute began last month with raids by Egyptian security forces on 17 offices of 10 advocacy groups, denounced by the U.S. and other countries. It also reinforced charges by Egyptian protesters and activists that the military rulers who took over a year ago from President Hosni Mubarak are perpetuating his regime’s oppressive tactics.
“It is clear to all that this campaign … aims to take revenge on groups that revealed violations by the military council since it took power,” said a statement by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, a prominent Egyptian rights group.
The investigation into the work of the nonprofit groups is closely linked to the political turmoil that has engulfed the nation since Mubarak’s ouster. The generals charge that the groups fund and support anti-government protests. They claim that “foreign hands” are behind the opposition to their rule and frequently charge that the protesters are receiving funds from abroad in a plot to destabilize the country.
Source: The Huffington Post
Source: Higgins Blog